Henrietta and the Golden Eggs

Overview

The persistence of Henrietta, one of 3,333 chickens on a chicken farm, leads to a better life for them all.

The persistence of Henrietta, one of 3,333 chickens on a chicken farm, leads to a better life for them all.

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2002 Hardcover New This book is new. Henrietta lives in a crowded chicken house, and despite the hopelessness and the crowded conditions, she has a dream--to one day lay a ... golden egg. But before that, she wants to sing and swim, and as impossible as those dreams seem, Henrietta is clever enough to make them happen. At the same time, she allows her friends to run free, until the farm manager sees that roaming chickens are happy chickens who lay better eggs. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The persistence of Henrietta, one of 3,333 chickens on a chicken farm, leads to a better life for them all.

The persistence of Henrietta, one of 3,333 chickens on a chicken farm, leads to a better life for them all.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this eloquent once-upon-a-time, Johansen and Bhend introduce a nonconformist chicken and make a case for the humane treatment of egg-layers. Henrietta is among "three thousand three hundred/ and thirty-three chickens/ who lived in a great, big chicken house..../ almost all of them were losing feathers/ because they pecked at one another/ whenever they stepped/ on each other's feet." Henrietta, an ambitious pullet too young to produce eggs, dreams of a comfortable place where she might fly or lay a golden egg someday. Though her peers scoff ("Don't even bother trying," they cluck), Henrietta "pecked and scratched/ until she had scratched open a hole" in the wall. Three times, she gets outside and leads the others to brief freedom: "There was fresh air everywhere/ and it didn't smell of chicken droppings/ or fortified chicken feed anywhere." Twice, humans recapture the escapees, but on the third try, the workers appeal to their manager: "If we build a great, big chicken yard/ out here in the open.../ it'll all work out." Johansen emphasizes that Henrietta is resourceful and brave "because she [is] so little," and the hopeful resolution resonates with Virginia Lee Burton's Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Bhend combines personality-filled portraits of Henrietta with naturalistic illustrations of the grassy outdoors enjoyed by frogs, wrens and ducks. Her stippled and crosshatched ink-line drawings, along with the book's clean design, recall another classic tale of an underdog, The Story of Ferdinand. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Henrietta is one of 3,333 chickens crowded together in a chicken house on a chicken farm in a space with just enough room for their feet; she is the only little one and the only one without a cough or loss of feathers. Every day the manager counts up the eggs they’ve laid. Henrietta announces she is going to lay golden eggs when she’s big, but first she’s going to learn to sing; of course, the other hens laugh at her. When she pecks a hole in the corner of the house, making it big enough for her to walk through, she sees green things for the first time. Soon the hole is big enough for all the chickens to escape and the manager has to round them up. Next Henrietta tackles learning to swim, then learning to fly and each time all of the chickens get loose. When the workers can’t round them all up, they build a great big chicken yard in the open and everyone is happier. The crisp black-and-white, pen-and-ink drawings are bordered on the square pages with images flying outside the edges. A brown chicken runs across the top of the pages accenting the page numbers. (The colorful cover and endpapers will lead readers to expect color illustrations.) The length and squarish size could make placement difficult as it looks like a chapter book--but the audience is really younger. The moral may be a stretch as the stylized art puts a sophisticated edge on this barnyard fable originally published in Germany. Kids may simply like Henrietta’s determination and cockiness when her first egg turns out to be brown and they’re sure to enjoy the escapes. Better for one-on-one reading to give the pictures (and chickens) their due. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567922103
  • Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 7.06 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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